OK, I confess … I eat very badly. My wife goes out of town on business trips for weeks at a time and she can easily figure out what I’m feeding our kid by looking at the monthly credit card statement. McDonald’s, Burger King, Whataburger, Moo-yah, Carl’s JR, Arby’s, Sonic, Popeye’s, Braum’s, and on and on. She lets me live, and that is good.
My kid and I rarely ever see a salad on our dinner menu … but we always manage to get french fries! Honestly, who can walk into one of these fast food places and NOT order fries? Really, who? They smell and taste amazing! AND, they always manage to ask me at the counter, “Do you want fries with that?” YES! Yes, I do!
In fact, the lure of the french fries is so very powerful! I have kids at my school that will do their school work and behave better in class … just for an order of french fries. Not just any french fries – but McDonald’s fries. Yep, only McDonald’s … I have no idea why … but for an educator they are simply magical! I always tell my kiddos to “keep their eyes on the fries” … and then bam … their grades go up! Yes, the tricks of the trade.
To me, honestly, this is a lot like dialing up the blood of Christ – choosing salvation – but not ordering with it a massive side of “let me help You advance the kingdom fries.”
Too many Christians stop dead in their tracks at the cross, we must go THROUGH the cross. We get too caught up in what we are saved FROM, and we forget what we have been saved TO do in His name. The Lord didn’t save us for HIM to do all the work and heavy lifting here on the earth. We have been purchased with a price TO bear fruit. In fact, we are called to co-labor or co-work with Him to advance the kingdom. Truly, our ownership rights have been TRANSFERRED! We were slaves to sin, but now we are slaves to righteousness (JESUS). We have been set free from the law of sin and death … and sin NOW bears no hold on us because we have been placed under the perfect, loving care of GRACE in the person of Jesus. Sin owned you and your eternity, but now HE does! Romans 6:14; Romans 6:18, Romans 6:22-23, Romans 7:4-6; Romans 6:8-1; 1 Corinthians 3:6-9; 2 Corinthians 6:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:14
Yet, people still tend to confuse the church building with the church body. YOU are the church! The place you go to on Sunday morning, is just a building … with the church inside of it!
1 Corinthians 3:9 (NIV)
For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
There is a huge difference with being IN service or being AT service. Too many Christians are focused with being AT service on Sunday … and not focused on being IN His service. YOU are HIS field. YOU are where He displays His power, strength, and purpose. YOU are where He does His best work! YOU are His building … yes, where His people come to get a glimpse of Him, to hear from Him, to learn about Him, and to see Him move.
We don’t behave this way or do these things because we HAVE to. No, our feet move because we are compelled and pressed forward by His love for Him and others (2 Corinthians 5:14). Simply put, because you love Him – your works (or the things you do) will come straight out of your faith. Yet, your faith will never grow or come out of your works. You co-work and walk with Him, because you have faith!
People say the 2,000 year old modern day grace movement is dangerous and spiritually corruptive, yet the true grace message isn’t for the weak! True grace means that we move ahead in His plans … His way … in His timing. True grace means that there is no our way – nope, none (Galatians 5:24). True grace means that we are saved TO bear fruit … and not to BRUISE His fruit! True grace means that we boast in our weaknesses, just so we can be stronger and more fruitful in Him (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Honestly, for me … the french fries are the best part of the entire meal. I don’t even care about the chicken strips or the burger. For me, it’s the same with my spiritual walk. I am so thankful for my salvation … but I love getting to serve Him much, much more. It isn’t that I have to serve Him … it’s that I GET to serve Him.
Father, do You want salt on those? He says, “Yes, yes I do!”
We are to be salt in this earth … let us be salty.
Romans 7:4-6 (NIV)
4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.